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Welcome to The Tipping Point, a regular post on Future Tech for people who don’t have enough time to read all the full news stories. Instead we shorten them, concentrate everything into one post, put that in your face, and you have to suck it. So let’s go!
This Weeks News!
AI: AlphaStar: Grandmaster level in StarCraft II using multi-agent reinforcement learning
“AlphaStar is the first AI to reach the top league of a widely popular esport without any game restrictions. This January, a preliminary version of AlphaStar challenged two of the world’s top players in StarCraft II, one of the most enduring and popular real-time strategy video games of all time. Since then, we have taken on a much greater challenge: playing the full game at a Grandmaster level under professionally approved conditions. “
COMPUTE: Google buys Fitbit for $2.1 billion
“Google has just announced that it’s buying wearable company Fitbit for $2.1 billion. In a blog post announcing the news, Google SVP of devices and services Rick Osterloh said that the Fitbit purchase is “an opportunity to invest even more in Wear OS as well as introduce Made by Google wearable devices into the market.”
ENERGY: Film for solar panels converts infrared light to energy, boosts efficiencies
“The study showed that the film that is placed over the top of conventional solar cells can increase the efficiency of the solar technology by around 10%, although the researchers believe there’s a huge potential to increase this further. Once optimized, Ågren’s team is confident the film will be able to increase the efficiency of the solar cells by as much as 25%.”
MEDICINE: Everything You Need to Know About Superstar CRISPR Prime Editing
“Well, just as Spider-Man was way off, so is the idea of a single CRISPR to rule them all. This month, Dr. David Liu at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge, MA, introduced an upgrade that in theory may correct nearly 90 percent of all disease-causing genetic variations.”
ROBOTICS: Check out the Uber Eats delivery drone
“The new six-propeller VTOL drone with rotating wings can carry up to one meal for two people and can fly for eight minutes (including the loading and unloading of food). during this relatively short flight time, the unmanned aircraft can fly up to 18 miles. However, for a round-trip delivery, its realistic range would be more like 12 miles.”
SPACE: SpaceX’s Starlink satellite network demonstrates 610Mbps link to aircraft
“In October 2019, SpaceX and the USAF began publicly discussing the latest results of that effort to test Starlink’s capabilities in the realm of in-flight connectivity. As reported by SpaceNews, SpaceX COO Gwynne Shotwell revealed that Starlink had successfully demonstrated a data link to the cockpit of a military aircraft with a bandwidth of 610 megabits per second (Mbps), equivalent to a gigabyte ever ~13 seconds.”
SPACE: What Shape Is the Universe? A New Study Suggests We’ve Got It All Wrong
“When researchers reanalyzed the gold-standard data set of the early universe, they concluded that the cosmos must be “closed,” or curled up like a ball. Most others remain unconvinced.”
TRANSPORT: Mobileye’s Autonomous Vehicle Drives Safely Through Crowded Streets
Mobileye had their first Investor Summit which gave live tests and huge amounts of information on their current work, future plans and more. Among which they noted they’ll have fully legitimate, live “robotaxi” services operating in 4 cities around world including Paris and Jerusalem by 2022. They’re also aiming to have “Chauffeur Mode” available to buy by the public (in your own BMW/Audi etc car) by 2025.
You can watch the short demo clip above or the full 3 hour long session here. Either way, get ready for some serious changes coming over the next 3+ years especially with Tesla’s Autopilot system nipping at their heels!
And that’s it for this week! Let us know in the comments what you think or if you have found any other important news!
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